If you’ve been told you have a cavity in your mouth you are probably wondering: do dental fillings hurt. If you have experienced toothache because of a cavity, that is understandable. At Lotus Smiles Dental we are committed to ensuring our patients have a comfortable experience when filling a tooth.
A dental filling is a procedure that is carried out to fill cavities or holes in your teeth. It is a very common dental procedure – at Lotus Smiles we perform dental fillings every day.
There are a few different types of filling material that dentists use, and your choice of dental filling will depend on the size and location of the cavity, the cost and your dentist’s preference. Today, composite resin is the most commonly used filling material because it is cost-effective and lasts well.
Will A Dental Filling Be Painful?
The purpose of a filling is to fill the hole left in your tooth by decay. When tooth decay goes very deep or close to a nerve, the decay can cause pain and sensitivity.
The pain is often what sends a patient into the waiting room, and patients have usually reached their pain threshold.
Don’t let the fear of the pain of a dental filling delay your treatment.
Also remember that filling a cavity early on is less painful and less expensive than waiting for an extended period of time.
What Can You Expect During The Dental Filling Procedure?
In most cases your dentist will inject the area close to the tooth with the cavity with a local anaesthetic to numb so that you don’t feel any pain. When you have local anaesthetic you are awake for the duration of the procedure, but the area being worked on is desensitised.
How Will You Feel After Tooth Fillings?
When your anaesthetic starts to wear off you might feel tingling or pins and needles in your soft tissue as you start to regain sensation. Your dentist will recommend you avoid eating and drinking for a few hours. When you do eat again, you should chew on the side opposite your filling.
Once the anaesthetic has worn off completely you may feel some tenderness and sensitivity around the tooth that was filled. Most patients find that any discomfort is mild and manageable however, you may wish to take some pain or anti-inflammatory medication to make it more bearable.
If you find it uncomfortable when you bite down, you may need to have your filling adjusted by your dentist. Sometimes a dental filling can be made too high, and it doesn’t align fully with the other jaw. This can be fixed quite quickly by your dentist.
Tooth Sensitivity After Dental Fillings
A few patients report that they experience tooth sensitivity after having tooth fillings, but in the majority of cases, this will self resolve in the weeks or months following your treatment.
When Should You Contact Your Dentist?
If you start to experience pain or discomfort some time after your procedure you should contact your dentist. Fillings do not last forever and it is possible for them to come loose or need to be replaced. Worsening pain accompanied by a fever or chills should be reported to your dentist straight away, as it could be a sign of a deeper infection or a tooth abscess.
So, Is A Dental Filling Painful?
Tooth fillings are meant to address the root cause of your dental pain: decay. By removing the decayed material, cleaning your tooth out and protecting it against further exposure with filling material, your dentist can help alleviate the source of your dental pain.
You may expect some swelling or sensitivity, but this will improve and should not feel as painful as having the cavity.
Avoiding Fillings In The Future
Cavities are caused by dental decay, which is the result of accumulated bacteria that can be kept under control with twice-daily brushing and flossing. Any plaque that cannot be removed through your dental hygiene can be removed by your dental therapist when you have a professional dental cleaning.
It is very important that you visit your dentist every six months so that your dentist can inspect your mouth for any early signs of tooth decay. Large, deep cavities are especially painful and pose a risk to your dental health. Avoid the need for more tooth fillings by practicing exemplary dental hygiene.
Still wondering “do dental fillings hurt”? It’s always best to speak to a professional to find out what your management options are. Please contact our practice for a convenient appointment: (03) 8737 3959.